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February 2010

Quick and Easy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

One of our family favorite meals is homemade chicken and dumplings. Unfortunately, making chicken and dumplings from scratch can be a time-consuming process; making it a difficult dish to serve during the work week. I recently discovered a few tricks which reduce the cooking time by half without compromising the flavor.

Last week I made the following quick and easy homemade chicken and dumplings using my new Emeril Lagasse cookware. I love cooking even more now that I have a high-quality set of pots and pans! It's hard to believe what a difference there is. Everything cooks faster and clean up is a breeze!

Before sharing the homemade chicken and dumplings recipe, I'd also like to share a money-saving tip. When my husband and I became empty nesters, I began making my chicken and dumplings using chicken breasts. However, I was robbing us of the flavor infused from the bones and skin of the bird. This time, I purchased a whole cut-up chicken because it was on sale, but I received three extra bonuses.

First, I didn't have to cut-up the chicken. Second, I was able to use both dark and white meat and obtain the flavor from the bones. Third, there was enough leftover chicken that we were able to enjoy two meals! Using one breast, one leg, one thigh, one wing and the chicken back, I was able to achieve the robust flavor I desired.

Additionally, I normally cook the chicken first to create the chicken broth for the dumplings. After the chicken is cooked, I remove it from the broth and allow it to cool while the dumplings are cooking. I was running short on time and decided to cook the dumplings in salted water, while the chicken cooked in boxed chicken broth.

This technique cut the cooking time in half. Why didn't I think of this sooner? Using this method allows everyone to enjoy a good old fashioned bowl of homemade chicken and dumplings throughout the busy work week. I hope you enjoy the recipe!


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Serves 4
Prep Time: 15minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes


1 whole cut-up chicken divided into 1 breast, 1 leg, 1 thigh, 1 wing and chicken back. Freeze remaining parts for another meal.
1 32-ounce box Chicken Broth
½ white or yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Celery stalks, diced
1 Carrot, diced or shredded
1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
¼ package Mary B's Dumplings Open Kettle


1. Wash and pat dry chicken parts.

2. Add chicken broth to a large stockpot and warm over medium-high heat.

3. Add chicken pieces, onion, garlic, celery and carrots to broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 25 minutes.


4. In a large sauce pan, add 8 cups water and Adobo seasoning. Bring to a boil.

5. Cut Mary B's dumplings into six slices per strip.

6. Add dumplings, one at a time, to boiling water. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Stir frequently and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until tender.


7. Remove chicken pieces from chicken broth and transfer to a cutting board. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

8. Once chicken is cool to touch, remove skin and pull chicken meat from the bones. Shred or chop into bite size pieces. Do not use the meat from the chicken back. This piece is used for flavoring purposes only.

9. Place chicken meat in the broth.

10. Drain water from dumplings using a colander.

11. Add dumplings to chicken broth and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

12. Transfer to serving bowls and serve immediately. 



Copyright © The Cheap Gourmet and Kathy Browning. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright and intellectual property rights. Reproducing or electronically submitting this article without written permission from the author is prohibited by law. Govern yourself accordingly. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The Cheap Gourmet is Cooking with Emeril Lagasse Cookware

Happy Fat Tuesday Everyone! I am super excited about the arrival of my new set of Emeril Lagasse cookware. It arrived last night; just in time for our Fat Tuesday celebration this evening. The UPS driver pulled up just minutes before I began cooking dinner. I couldn't open the box fast enough!

I engaged in considerable research before purchasing the Emeril Lagasse hard anodized cookware. There has been considerable controversy regarding Teflon coated cookware, aluminum, porcelain and cast iron. It seems that all cookware has something that could leech into our food. Plus, being The Cheap Gourmet, I was looking for budget-friendly cookware that would provide the results I wanted without breaking the bank.


I chose Emeril's anodized cookware because the research indicated this was one of the safest types. My husband explained the process for anodizing aluminum. In a nutshell, aluminum is dipped in a sulfuric acid bath, than exposed to electrical charges which causes the aluminum to oxidize. Afterwards, the sulfuric acid is cooled to 32 degrees Fahrenheit and the electrical charge is increased which in turn hardens the aluminum. It's actually quite a fascinating process.

Anodized cookware appears to be nearly indestructible. It is non-toxic; scratch resistant; can be used in the oven; provides fast, uniform cooking; and is easy to clean. What more could a girl (or guy) ask for?

Last night we had spicy garlic grilled chicken wings, except we deep fried them instead of grilling. The only thing I needed a pan for was to make the hot sauce.

After washing the 2-quart saucepan with warm, soapy water, I added my ingredients and turned the heat to low. Within minutes the butter had melted. I couldn't believe how much faster the cooking time was with my new Emeril cookware!

When I poured the sauce onto the wings, every last drop of sauce poured out of the pan. If you've ever made chicken wing hot sauce, you know it can be rather messy. But, with the Emeril cookware, clean-up was a breeze!

Another nice feature of Emeril's hard anodized cookware is the saucepans have pouring spouts and the lids have built-in strainers. Colanders have always been a pet peeve of mine. While they are great for draining liquids, they can be difficult to clean; particularly the mesh colanders. With the strainer built into the lid, I can eliminate the colander along with the frustration of cleaning it.

Emeril's cookware lids are made of tempered glass, which is a feature I like because it allows me to see the food while it's cooking. My old set of cookware had aluminum lids that required lifting to see the progress. The only downside I can see at this moment is the lids have aluminum handles which can get quite hot, so I need to remember to use a pot holder when lifting them off.

I purchased my set of Emeril cookware through Seventh Avenue. They offer a low-cost payment plan which allows me to extend payments if I desire. I didn't have to pay a dime to receive the cookware and can pay as little as $25 per month. I find this option to be very helpful for cheap people like myself who don't want to shell out big bucks for high quality cookware.

A great place to comparison shop for cookware, kitchen appliances, household goods and just about anything you could ever want to buy is ShopWiki. Simply type in the product name and ShopWiki provides a list of vendors and price ranges; allowing you to find the best deal.

Rest assured there will be plenty of new recipes featuring photos of my new Emeril Lagasse cookware. I have spent half of my morning drooling over recipes presented at Emerils.com. It's hard to decide which recipe to start with.

Perhaps I should embark on The Cheap Gourmet and Emeril cook-athon and cook nothing but Emeril recipes for a month or two. From the looks of the recipes on his website, I'm pretty certain my husband and I would be perfectly content eating Emeril recipes prepared in our Emeril cookware! And, Emeril, if you're reading this, thank you for the outstanding cookware. I LOVE it!

It's Not Too Late to Order Valentine's Day Gifts

If you haven't bought your sweetie a Valentine's Day gift yet, don't worry! The Cheap Gourmet has you covered! One of my personal favorite places to order gifts when I'm short on time is Flower Delivery. Not only do they offer the traditional bouquet of roses, but Flower Delivery also has a fabulous assortment of gourmet food baskets, chocolate gifts, teddy bears, cookie baskets, wine gifts, live plants and gorgeous orchids.

At Flower Delivery, you can order Valentine's Day gifts for you mom, dad, husband, wife, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandma, grandpa, neighbor, co-workers and friends. Flower Delivery has something for everyone at affordable prices.

Many of the Valentine's Day gifts can be delivered the same day you place your order. But, you can't procrastinate much longer considering Valentine's Day is Sunday. I highly recommend you get online now and order your Valentine's Day gifts today.

SAVE $10 - Use Coupon ID 'fd' on items $50 and over

Buy Flowers Online

One of my personal favorite gift baskets is the 'Francis Ford Coppola Loves Food and Wine Basket'. My husband proposed to me in Napa Valley after a day of winery tours. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery was one of our favorite places and it holds a special place in my heart.

The Francis Ford Coppola Loves Food and Wine Basket includes "Mammarella", a line of organic pastas and sauces honoring Coppola's mother, Italia Pennino Coppola, two bottles of Coppola wines and a Mammarella kitchen towel.

Another favorite is the 'Say it with Chocolate' Gift Basket which is filled to the brim with a variety of Ghiradelli chocolates, chocolate-covered sandwich cookies, chocolate-covered espresso beans, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate-covered graham dunk, and chocolate wafer rolls.

Regardless of your Valentine's Day gift needs, Flower Delivery offers something for everyone. Express your love with flowers, chocolates, gourmet food baskets, plants, balloons or teddy bears by ordering your gifts through Flower Delivery. But, hurry! Time is running out!

Teddy Bear Delivery

SAVE $10 - Use Coupon ID 'fd' on items $50 and over

Disclosure Policy: Thank you for shopping with our affiliates. The Cheap Gourmet earns commissions when visitors purchase from our carefully selected merchants. Affiliate earnings help offset business expenses and allow us to continue providing free recipes, giveaways, product deals and other fun stuff!

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Copyright © The Cheap Gourmet and Kathy Browning 2010. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright and intellectual property rights. Reproducing or electronically submitting this article without written permission from the author is prohibited by law. Govern yourself accordingly. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Bloggers, webmasters and social networkers are permitted to reblog by clicking on the button below. Attribution and a backlink to The Cheap Gourmet are required.
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In Search of Truvia Giveaway Winners and New Facebook Fan Page

Greetings Everyone!

I have contacted each of the five Truvia Natural Sweetener winners for The Cheap Gourmet January Giveaway via email. So far, only one has confirmed. Please check your email account for the announcement and respond with your mailing address by Friday, February 12th.

Otherwise, I will need to select new winners and I don't want you to miss out on receiving your complimentary box of Truvia. Please note I will supply your mailing address to Truvia and they will mail your prize directly.

Below are the randomly selected winners for The Cheap Gourmet Truvia Natural Sweetener January Giveaway:

Rebecca D. with a Gmail address


Ed M. with a Yahoo address

Healthy Food Blogs - Tera with a Gmail address


If your name is listed above, leave a Comment on this post and include your mailing address. Please note I will NOT publish this info and will delete the comment. OR, send your full name and mailing address to the cheap gourmet (at) yahoo.com.

Secondly, I have taken the plunge and created a Facebook Fan Page for The Cheap Gourmet. I hope you will join our group. I look forward to providing cooking specials, exclusive contests, exceptional recipes and meeting more passionate foodies! Fans are also welcome to share their favorite recipes and interact with The Cheap Gourmet fans. I look forward to seeing you there!

In closing, you might enjoy these Truvia Natural Sweetener recipes. They have been a huge success with my family and I hope your family and friends enjoy them as well!

Truvia Shortbread Cookies

Truvia Fudgy Brownies

Truvia Shortbread Cookies by The Cheap Gourmet

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of making Truvia Shortbread Cookies and I must say they are the best shortbread cookies I have ever tasted! As you may know, The Cheap Gourmet was contacted by the marketing department of Truvia Natural Sweetener who graciously donated FIVE full-size boxes of this delightful zero-calorie sweetener to be given away to readers of this blog. The winners of the January Giveaway have been selected and contacted via email. Once they confirm their prize and grant permission to use their names, I will post the winners on the blog.

The Truvia Shortbread Cookie recipe is available at www.Truvia.com, along with several other tasty treats. Fortunately, this zero-calorie sweetener allows me to make extra yummy treats that don't end up on my thighs! Not only are they easier on the waistline, they taste just as good, if not better, than the high-calorie, fattening versions.

Many of the recipes presented at Truvia's website are inspired by Celebrity Chef, Marisa Churchill. Marisa was chosen as one of the top 40 pastry chefs in the country by Food Arts magazine. She has appeared on many of my favorite food programs including Bravo's Top Chef and The Food Network.

Truvia's shortbread cookie recipe is super simple to make. It took less than an hour from start to finish to create three dozen of these delectable treats. Better yet, Truvia's shortbread cookies only require eight ingredients: butter, Truvia sweetener, sugar, 1 egg, vanilla extract, flour, cornstarch and salt.

Once ingredients are blended together, shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet.


Next, dip a flat-bottomed glass in a small amount of cornstarch. I'll admit, I added too much cornstarch to the glass bottom. If you make the same mistake, use a pastry brush to lightly dust-off the cookies prior to baking.


Bake for 16-18 minutes until shortbread cookies are light golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to baker's rack. Cool for 20-30 minutes and transfer to airtight container.


I had one extra packet of Truvia Natural Sweetener and decided to sprinkle a small amount on each cookie. This step is not included in the directions, but I found the addition of the Truvia sprinkles to add a bit of crunch and a little burst of extra sweetness.

After having the pleasure of using Truvia Natural Sweetener for the past month, I can honestly say I am a Truvia-convert. The Truvia Fudgy Brownies recipe was a huge hit with my family and as I recall they lasted about 1-1/2 days. That's a sure sign that my family loved every morsel ;-)

I am grateful that Truvia introduced their product to me and allowed me to experiment with the various recipes posted on their website. I am also grateful for their generosity to share their product with readers of The Cheap Gourmet Blog.

Personally, I love Truvia and will be trying more of the delightful dessert recipes, beverages and smoothies. I hope you will give Truvia Natural Sweetener a try as well. I think you'll be as pleased with the product as I am.

Tomorrow, I will be announcing the February contest. Please stop back by or subscribe to our "Get the Scoop" mailing list to be notified of new recipes and upcoming giveaways. Thank you for being part of The Cheap Gourmet family and good luck in upcoming contests and giveaways!

Happy Cheap Gourmet Cooking!

P.S. We are frequently adding new cooking contests, sweepstakes and giveaways in our Cooking Contests section. Please bookmark the page and stop back often!

Copyright © The Cheap Gourmet and Kathy Browning. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright and intellectual property rights. Reproducing or electronically submitting this article without written permission from the author is prohibited by law. Govern yourself accordingly. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

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All in the Day of a Food Blogger by The Cheap Gourmet

Click here to get $10 off a 6-month Beer of the Month Club subscription - Coupon Code: Discount1

An Open Letter to Fans of The Cheap Gourmet Blog,

This past week, The Cheap Gourmet has been endlessly harassed by splog owner, Dmitri Dercacenco. It began when I discovered Dmitri had published my beer of the month club review, along with about 20 other of my blog posts on his website.

I politely requested Dmitri Dercacenco provide a summary with a link to The Cheap Gourmet blog or remove the article altogether. I also requested the same for the other articles belonging to me. As I reviewed his website I began noticing content from other food bloggers I am familiar with.

Because I am a strong advocate for copyright protection, I contacted each blogger to inform them their content had been stolen as well. Dmitri Dercacenco refused to remove our content and continued to steal more of our blog posts and publish them on his blog.

We food bloggers joined forces and contacted Dmitri Dercacenco's webhost provider. After providing evidence we were the rightful owners of the content, the hosting service shut down Dmitri's website.

Dmitri Dercacenoco then left a comment on Brad's Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili Recipe post, threatening to submit a ton of spam comments to The Cheap Gourmet. Not very smart, is he? I left his comment in place, but did alter his website's URL to IStealContentFromFoodBloggers because I refuse to provide a link to his website, which at present is out of service.

Now, Dmitri Dercaenoco has embarked on all-out war against The Cheap Gourmet by altering my Beer of the Month Club review and submitting it to news directories in Pakistan and other foreign countries. Apparently, he isn't smart enough to understand there are tools which allow bloggers to track their blog posts and I can easily follow his every move.

My message to Dmitri is if you are going to come into my home, steal my stuff and threaten me, I am going to call you out and take action against you. I imagine he would feel the same way if the shoe were on the other foot.

After considerable research, I discovered Dmitri has a long history of being a spammer and black hatter. He has registered 85 different URLs, many of which are connected to credit card scams. All of this information is public record and can be found at places such as Whois.com and DomainTools.com.

Instead of being able to focus on providing recipes to you, my valuable readers, Dmitri's behavior has left me spending my time submitting DMCA notices and taking various measures to report his illegal activity. If you aren't familiar with the term, 'splog' it refers to a blog that scrapes blog posts from honest bloggers and posts them on the offensive site as their own work.

Although Dmitri Dercaenoco has diverted my attention, I met some wonderful food bloggers who were also victims of this man's unethical behavior. As they say, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. Below are links to my newfound friends. I encourage you to visit their websites because each food blogger offers amazing recipes and cooking tips.

Candy Addict – www.CandyAddict.com

Andrea Myers - www.AndreasRecipes.com

Veg Inspirations - www.VegInspirations.com

Poor Girl Eats Well - www.PoorGirlEatsWell.com

100 Café Street - www.100cafestreet.com

I apologize for the diversion and assure you The Cheap Gourmet will be back in full swing on Monday. I will be announcing the winners of January's Giveaway of Truvia Natural Sweetener and announcing the February giveaway.
In closing, if you are a blogger it is important to protect your work. There are measures in place that allow you to report individuals who have stolen and published your content. If you discover someone's content has been stolen, take a moment to contact them and provide the URL where the content is published. By watching out for one another we can reduce the amount of thievery and shut down the sploggers, spammers and stalkers who behave like Dmitri Dercaenoco.

Click here to get $10 off a 6-month Beer of the Month Club subscription - Coupon Code: Discount1

Copyright © The Cheap Gourmet and Kathy Browning. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright and intellectual property rights. Reproducing or electronically submitting this article without written permission from the author is prohibited by law. Govern yourself accordingly. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Brad's Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili Recipe

Today, I'd like to share Brad's Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili recipe; a creation made by my culinary-exploring husband. I am constantly amazed at how far his cooking skills have improved in the eleven years we have been together. When we first met, he was strictly a meat-and-potatoes-guy who was not very enthusiastic about changing his dietary habits.

After creating his Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili recipe, I decided it was time to officially crown him The Mini Cheap Gourmet! He took our family chili recipe to an entirely new level with this tasty and hardy rendition. It is by far the best chili I have ever tasted and I am thrilled to share his recipe with you. 


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Serves: 8-10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


1-1/2 pounds lean Ground Beef
2 Johnsonville New Orleans Brand Andouille Recipe Spicy Smoked Sausage links
1 package Carroll Shelby Chili Mix
½ medium White or Yellow Onion, chopped
2-3 medium Garlic cloves, minced
½ medium Green Pepper, chopped
1 small Jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 64-ounce bottle Campbell's Tomato Juice
1 15-ounce can Bush's Seasoned Black Beans, drained
2 cups Bowtie Pasta or Elbow Macaroni, uncooked
Shredded Cheddar Cheese, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crackers or corn chips, optional


1. Add ground beef to heavy stockpot over medium heat. Break into pieces and cook for 10-12 minutes or until meat is browned.
2. Place cooked hamburger in a colander and rinse with warm water to remove excess grease. Return to stock pot.
3. Cut Johnsonville sausage links half then cut each half in half. Cut slices into half-inch pieces. Add to cooked hamburger.
4. Add Carroll Shelby Chili Mix, except for masa flour. Use half of the cayenne pepper packet unless you like exceptionally spicy chili.
5. Add onion, garlic, green pepper and jalapeno. Pour in the entire bottle of tomato juice, add the black beans and mix ingredients together.
6. Add pasta. If the tomato juice does not cover the pasta, fill the tomato juice bottle about half-way full of water and add to chili mixture.
7. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour.

8. Transfer to serving bowls. Top with cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately. 


We like to add corn chips to our chili to provide a little extra crunch. Frito's scoop corn chips are my personal favorite because I can scoop up small amounts of the chili when it is too hot to eat. We often use leftover chili to make nachos, taco salads and as a topping for baked potatoes.

If you enjoy Brad's Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili please stop back and leave a comment. Doing so will make my husband a very happy man!

Copyright © The Cheap Gourmet and Kathy Browning. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright and intellectual property rights. Reproducing or electronically submitting this article without written permission from the author is prohibited by law. Govern yourself accordingly. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.